Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese chain, but don't hold it against them. Their versions of Chinese snack food -- dumplings, noodles, steamed buns, and simple vegetable dishes -- are impeccable, as is their highly-trained service. You pay for the luxury of all of this, of course. A basket of DTF's excellent xiaolongbao, whose delicate folds (always exactly 18), translucent skin, and remarkable consistency make them arguably the best in Shanghai, runs about ten times the going rate of a street-side stall. As their always-packed restaurants demonstrate, the high standard is often worth it.
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